Before The Storm: Day -2 and -1

November 27th, Day -2

Today was our first entire day in Auckland, a sort of half rest day after arriving last night. Yesterday we just caught a bus from the Airport to our hostel in the city, went to get some food, and then stocked up at the closest Countdown supermarket and went to bed. A short day because we were both pretty exhausted from travelling.

To top things off, Erin has been sick the last three or four days and unfortunately that hasn’t let up just yet. Still recovering from yesterday, we slept in a good few hours this morning, only emerging to scavenge for breakfast just before midday. Breakfast was a trial-run of the breakfast we have planned for the trail; quick oats with powdered milk and condensed milk for sweetness. We just added some boiled water and let it sit for a few minutes rather than cooking it on a stove, and in fact it was really quite delicious.

After breakfast (lunch?) we went out to do some shopping we needed to get out of the way. First, we stopped by Bivouac Outdoor to pick up some last minute hiking equipment and our DOC BackCountry Hut Passes. We got our stove fuel, a waterproof map protector, a pack cover for my pack, and a pack liner for Erin’s pack. From here we then went to Specsavers, where Erin had ordered in two pairs of new glasses – one regular, one sunglasses – from Canberra. I was relieved to see that they had successfully arrived in Auckland without any issue. Finally, we went to LUSH to pick up some multi-purpose soap; for our bodies, hair and clothes.

The next actual item on the to-do list was for Erin to attend a Yoga session at a Yoga place she’d been to twice before, last time we were in Auckland. We hung around for a few hours, watching a movie and having a bit of a nap, before walking together down to “The Loft Yoga Lounge” where an hour and a half yoga session, plus vegetarian dinner, cost only $20.

That night I had my first shower in about 48 hours, washing my jocks and t shirt in the shower with our multi-purpose soap. Pro tip: do not get soap in your eyes, it stings and you will look stoned for the next two hours.

November 28th, Day -1

We got up a bit earlier today, emerging for the first meal of the day no later than half past nine in fact! Once again we had quick oats with powdered milk and condensed milk, adding boiling water and letting it sit rather than cooking it on a stovetop. Once again, it was really delicious.

Today was another day of chores; I printed the maps for our first 600km or so, Erin got her legs waxed, I wrote up my journal, we organised our transport and accomodation for the next two days, getting us from Auckland to Kaitaia, then from Kaitaia to Cape Reinga, and finally I bought the last of our food supplies for the next 5 days or so.

So tomorrow morning we leave at 7:30 on the Intercity bus to Kaitaia (via Kerikeri), before staying the night at Beachcomber Lodge and Backpacker. Finally, Greg from Tuatua Rentals will pick us up at 8 AM to drive us to Cape Reinga for the start of the walk.

I initially tried to organise some accomodation in Kerikeri and then transport from here, because this would have made the bus from Auckland shorter, and would be directly on our route through on the TA for the purpose of accessing our bounce box. Unfortunately Kerikeri was entirely booked out, even after trying 3 different locations, not even a dorm bed was available. This probably something to consider for any future hikers; Kerikeri appears to be very popular later in the season so accomodation may be scarce.

Now it is quarter past seven. Erin is off at Yoga once again, and I am left to catch up on this blog. I haven’t really had much of a chance to do any photography just yet, and I’m already second guessing my choice of equipment; namely I think I will regret just bringing a gorillapod and not a full sized tripod. I may have to get someone to post over my Gitzo tripod from back home if the gorillapod proves to be too annoying.

Now it’s time to go have another shower whilst we still have ready access to one. Tomorrow is Day 0 – bring it on!